Validating cloud applications before going live

As businesses turn to the cloud as a primary resource in driving competitive advantage, migrating to this new environment should be undertaken in a deliberate and systematic manner. Although the promise of higher reliability coupled with a lower cost may lure businesses to the cloud, 41% of businesses find themselves poorly prepared for the migration and end up moving applications back to colocation facilities. For enterprises seeking to ensure success in their migration, and even those considering making the switch, the validation of cloud applications should be of primary concern.

Developing cloud applications or migrating to a cloud environment means adding a lot of variable conditions between client and server. Applications that perform adequately on a corporate headquarters’ local network are often sluggish, slow, or downright unresponsive once deployed. WAN conditions, such as bandwidth constraints, latency, jitter and packet loss, can bring an application to a screeching halt once deployed within a cloud environment where distance is taken into consideration. In fact, 47% of businesses returning to traditional colocation cite latency as the biggest contributing factor to their leaving the cloud.

What’s the deal with latency?

Legacy applications are often developed in relation to LAN connections and assume a short distance between client and server with delay less than 1ms and there can be many interactions between client and server to perform a single function. Since transport protocols like TCP don’t handle impairments very well, even a little bit of latency or packet loss can cause application throughput to drop significantly. For example, a dedicated 1Gbps link can result in 6Mbps of throughput with only 0.01% packet loss.

This makes accurately predicting application performance a difficult task prior to deployment, but there are several options available to validate these cloud applications before going live. One option is rewriting it to function in parallel with cloud features. Another is to replace the legacy application with a Software as a Service (SaaS) equivalent, which means essentially switching to an entirely new application hosted by a third-party.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *